Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wearing the World like a Loose Garment

Letting Go of Attachments

St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226 ce) is credited with the saying “Wear the world like a loose garment." 

In order to be truly free, it is beneficial to cultivate a relationship to external events where clinging does not occur, and to see that anything outside of the self which is seen as providing security is temporal at best. This approach to life doesn't imply ambivelance or lack of participation, but rather suggests that it is when we become attached that we suffer as attachment lends itself to disappointment due to failed expectations.

The first step is becoming willing to let go of anything: people, objects, and expectations. We begin to let go of looking outside of ourselves for satisfaction and pleasure, understanding that our true sense of joy is within. And, contrary to what at first may seem as negative or indifference, letting go of our attachments creates the chance to experience life without imposing our hopes, needs, dreams, wants, desires, and expectations on others which then creates freedom all around. The freedom to choose, both for ourselves and for others.

Byron Katie wisely says "As long as we continue to resist reality we will suffer". When we wear the world like a loose garment we are accepting reality without the need to change it and this is where suffering ends and freedom begins.